A review of the horse breeding farm of Princes Sanguszko (1876)

Published in “Horse Breeding and Hunting,” No.6, 1876, page 69-83, by Roman Sanguszko Sr. Translated from Polish to Russian by “D.G.”

Edited by Lyman Doyle. Translated from Russian to English by Ekaterina Vsemirnova.

Editor’s Note

In any translation from one language to another some meaning is “lost in translation” and since this document is a double translation from Polish to Russian to English, it is inevitable that meaning was lost or changed along the way. We are fortunate that the original Polish document, also published in 1876, survives so readers can clearly see what content generally stayed the same, what was added, and what was deleted. The additions and deletions are revealing as to the motivations of the translator and or potential editors which are unknown.

Significant portions of the original Polish text were removed in the Russian translation with what appears to be the aim of concealing the mixed blood origin of the Sanguszko horses to make them seem more “pure” than they actually were.

Major changes to the text in the form of additions, word changes, and deletions are noted in the English translation.

The translation follows:

The horse breeding farm, which is still called the Princes Sanguszko’s farm, started to improve and gain recognition while under the management of Prince Hieronim, the Governor of Volhynia, the son of Prince Pawel Sanguszko, the Grand Marshall of Lithuania. It is only from that time the history of this farms begins, since any previous events that took place at the farm of the Princes Sanguszko left no trace.

The horse breeding farm of Prince Hieronim Sanguszko (the Governor of Volhynia) was situated on the river Dnieper, in the Cherkassy county, and in Volhynia in Khrestovka, Tarnavka and Polyakhov villages. The county was under control of the Sanguszko family for several centuries, and the three villages belonged to the Belgorod estate of Princes Sanguszko, situated in Zaslav’s district. Due to political instability and divisions within the Princes Sanguszko’s family, the farm was divided into two parts – one part remained in Khrestovka in a reduced state, while the other part was transferred to Satanov on the river Zbruch, in Podolsk province, Proskurovsky district.

In order to preserve the stable (located in Slavuta town, Volhynia) in its original state, it is [currently] managed jointly with the Prince’s nephew Roman. (Editors Note: That Prince Roman’s nephew, also named Roman is jointly managing the stud is a new addition from the original Polish text and suggests that Price Roman Jr. influenced the publication and translation of this document). The racing horses stable was transferred in full to the Satanovsky farm and is maintained jointly with Count Alfred Potocki in the Antoniny in the Volhynian province, an estate that also belongs to the old Zaslav principality [of Princes Sanguszko].

The old Khrestovetsky farm was a branch of the Princes’ family horse breeding farms, but its exact origin is unknown. This is because it was transferred to Volhynia at the time of the relocation of Prince Sanguszko from Lithuania to Volhynia and Ukraine, with no documents or legends left which would be able to shed the light on this event.

(Editor’s Note: A paragraph appears to have been deleted here “It can be truthfully said that the herd had no concept and profile behind it, and only the historical turmoil of the country and the Sanguszko family dictated its increase and the races[1] kept within the herd. It is the only herd that has this historical provenance of being founded a long time ago and being kept by the same family – while other herds of Podolia and Ukraine were created in times which the memory of living people can still reach, or not long before”).

After Prince Pawel’s death, the farm was divided between his sons; although technically this was impossible, because the farm was under the ordinate (majorate). But the ordinate was lost to Pawel’s uncles, Princes Lyubomirsky, and hence the farm was divided between Pawel’s three sons. When Prince Jozef, the Grand Marshall of Lithuania, the elder brother, and his son Roman died, the farm was divided into 2 parts: Khrestovetsky and Klembovsky[2] or Zaslavsky. The latter, after fifty years of continued decline, has completely disappeared at around 1845, leaving no trace. After the death of Prince Hieronim in 1812, the Khrestovetsky farm combined the local farms within Cherkassy region and Ilenetsky farm in Ukraine. But in the same year, the estates experienced cuts and went into administrations, and the stand-alone horse breeding farm was able to preserve some of its activities by hiding some of its horses in the vast (at the time) Smoldyrevskiy forests. The rest of its horses were taken away[3]. As a result, the Kamburley[4] Stud Farm was very well known for quite a long time in the Malorossiya[5], because the owner, Kamburley, who at that time was the governor of Volhynia, took quite a few mares from the Khrestovetsky farm.

The times of wars and attacks, which Volhynia and Ukraine had to survive for two centuries, created favorable conditions for horse breed improvements. Even more so, since the attackers were nations who owned pedigreed[6] horses (Turks, Tatars and Circassians). All this gave the opportunity to get wonderful Arabian and Oriental stallions for numerous horse breeding farms in Volhynia and Podolia.

When the wars against the Muslims and the Crimean Tatars ceased, it turned out that there was the need to have pureblood[7] Oriental studs, which were previously in abundant supply because of war actions. After that, several large landowners began sending for Oriental studs to Istanbul. The Prince Governor of Volhynia first started bringing horses directly from Arabia — for this purpose he sent several people under the leadership of Mr. Bursky, who was serving to the Prince.

There was a legend that the first pureblood stud brought to the Khrestovetsky farm was a dark bay stallion, brought from Istanbul for King Stanislaw Augustus. In the eyes of the king, who was accustomed to the luxury of Western Europe, the horse was small in stature, so he presented it to nobleman Politovski, who was at the royal court at the time. The Prince Governor bought it and kept it in his farm under the name “Politovski”.

After a number of years of travel, Bursky brought back five stallions. The first party, which was so difficult to organize at the time, had important consequences for the farm. After Alexander the 1st of Russia’s merciful amnesty in 1813, Prince Eustachy settled on his ancestral lands. While returning to his estates, he bought in Iasi[8] from the commander-in-chief, General Gudovich, five more stallions which Gudovich[9] acquired during the war with Turks. Those, however, were quickly rejected at Khrestovetsky farm, because they turned out to be unfit for purpose compare to the studs brought by Bursky. Then the Prince decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and organize another Arabian expedition for the stallions.

In the end, Prince Eustachy prepared the highly anticipated expedition to Arabia in 1816 and sent it under the leadership of the stallion groom Moshinsky. Moshinsky returned in November 1818. He brought ten pureblood stallions. Among those white Guylyan (Keheilan) and gray Djelfi were first-class studs. From the Keheilan’s offspring, the most famous was Shumka 2 out of the mare “Polka[10]”.

Polka was not a pureblood Arabian mare; her sire was a bay with dark-red coat and was bought in Vienna around 1790. Rumors were that Prince Eustachy was betting with someone and won the right to buy this horse, thanks to his horse-riding skills which helped him to overcome this angry and difficult horse.

In 1821-1826, horses were coming from Arabia from time to time. To support these expeditions, Prince Eustachy for several years paid to Arytin, an Arab from Syria who lived in Aleppo, and whose duties were to help delivering horses bought in Arabia to Slavuta or Odessa.

After 1842, pureblood Arab studs began to arrive again, for example, red Jeran, white Batran-Aga, which were both first-class perspective studs, and many others.

The third expedition to Arabia was prepared and carried out by the author of these notes.

In 1857-1858, the fourth expedition took place. I was led by two farm’s officials, Mr. Sverchinsky and Mr. Chernyavsky. They also brought back famous horses.

The number of studs brought directly from Arabia, to the Princes Sanguszko’s farm was:

In 1800-1803, stallions directly from Arabian                   5

1813-1814, Eastern stallions                                                       5

1818 Arabian stallions                                                                      9, and mare 1                             10

1821-1826, Arabian stallions                                                    10 and mares 4                             14

1842-1845, Arabian stallions                                                                                                                     3

1853-1855, Arabian stallions                                                                                                                     4

1858, directly from Arabia stallions                                        5, and in 1859. via England 1 6

1861 “Dervish”, 1862 “Yemen”                                                                                                                   2

1864 – “Feruk-Gan”, 1865 “Feruk-Gan Junior”                                                                                  2

1865 – “Bagdati”, 1866 – “Agil-Agi” and “Yamri”                                                                               3

1867- “Gammit”, 1868- “Gaduti”                                                                                                                2

1869-1872 – “Gemdani”, “Trafani” and 2 Koheylans

1870-1871 – two mares, white and black “Djelfi”                                                                            2

In total until June 1, 1872                                                                                                                             62 horses.

It can be found in old historical memoirs that in 1790, at the Yankovetsky stud farm in Cherkassy County, the Governor of Volhynia Hieronim Sanguszko kept the following studs: Turkish “Bol’shoi” (Big), dapple grey, grey “Neapolitan”, roan stallion, red stallion “Andrusevich”[11], bay stallion without marks. A year earlier, in 1789, there was another roan stallion, stallion “Cesarz” (Emperor) with dark bay coat, stallion “Velezhinski” with dark bay coat, red stallion “Andrusevich” and grey-with-spots stallion.

In 1799, leading sires in Khrestovka were: auburn English belonged to Prince Eustachy, Setsky’s dapple grey, Starzhinski’s red, Valevski’s dapple grey, and bay “Greecian”.

In the same year, the stables’ report dated August the 19th, lists clearly that that year they had the following studs in Cherkassy: white “Egyptian”, Court Marshal of Lithuania, Prince Janusz Sanguszko’s[12] bay; grey which was in possession of the Great Prince Stolnik of Lithuania, Józef Klemens Czartoryski[13] from Korets, Prushinski’s rose grey (chamberlain Anton Pruszinski, brother of Volhynia’s Governess, lived in Semaki in Volhynia), and residential grey of Cherkassy’s farm.

Staning in Slavuta were: the red of English Prince Eustachy, the red – Starzhinsky’s stallion (the owner was Ludwig Starzhinsky, who lived and died in the village of Vaskovchyny near Antoniny), red “Varshavchik”[14], red “Elmer”, residential grey stallion of the Slavuta farm and bay “Pers”.

Mares at the Khrestovetsky farm were named after their previous owners’ localities from which they were acquired, for example: Chernyatinskaya[15], Myanovskaya[16], Rybinskaya, Cherkasskaya, Sobolevataya, Sveykovskaya[17], Varshavskaya, etc. The mares at the Cherkassy farm were called even simpler: the light red, the dark bay “Riding”, the red junior, “Valitskaya” Old, the bay old, the bay “Nemka” (“German”), “Gulka” with one nipple on the udder, etc.

According to the report, the total figure for the farm in Slavuta was: 10 riding horses, 3 hussar and Cossack horses, 16 horses for dressage, 9 racing horses.

At Khrestovka there were: 4 stallions, 57 mares, 51 foals, 33 dams with foals born in 1799, and 33 weanlings.

At Cherkassy farm there were: 11 mares with nursing foals, 11 weanlings, 14 brood mares, 15 young mares 15, 17 colts.

In Tarnovka, 7 mares with young foals, 7 weanlings, 30 brood mares, 20 young mares, 8 colts.

In Polyakhov: mares of different ages – 52.

In total, in 1799 in the farms there were 423 horses.

Farm reports are signed by Rybinsky.

(Editor’s Note: The following two paragraphs of analysis by Prince Roman Sanguszko Sr.on the 1799 stable report by Rybinski were deleted in the original translation from Polish to Russian. It appears the translator or editors wanted to hide such explicit conclusions on the non Arabian origin of the Sanguszko “Arabs.” The deleted paragraphs are reproduced below for readers.

“Such details are very precious to history, as they give evidence on which we can base our opinions and theories about the happenings of the herd about which we are writing. It shows that the herds of great landowners of the times were often mixed and led without any thought. The only saving grace was that from the olden times, as a consequence of the Turkish and Tatar attacks, the hero families of our countries defending it, such as Princes Koreccy, Wiśniowieccy, Ostrogscy, Sienawscy, they had the opportunity to acquire original eastern and Arab[18] horses through the wars, and from them, the better blood and the higher oriental race[19] spread throughout the country. The past generation also have known this: the granddaughters of Sieniawski, while splitting the estate, took a part of the Sieniawski herd from Grzymałów and Satanów, and it was maintained throughout the first 18 years of the 19th century.”

“There was no clear direction in the systematic leading of the herd; everything was achieved by chance, as seen from the collection of stallions and mares cited above. There was no race[20] in the herd collected from all kinds of sub-par sources – such as Starzyński, Pruszyński, and the like. Therefore we come to the conclusion, that all small and larger herds in Ukraine and the Wołyń region had no value in terms of race; but only in terms of local horses, and they appeared from the necessity of keeping horses to defend the lands, and through the appropriateness of surrounding areas for pastures, they had risen to quite a high level”).

Towards the end of the 18th century-beginning of the 19th century, when political relations between the Volhynia region and Turkey became less troublesome, and traveling through Iasi and Moldova became more feasible, rich aristocracy who possessed vast lands and large horse breeding farms began purchasing studs from Istanbul. Among those were: Prince Czartoryski, the Crown General of Podolia, and Stanislaw “Szczęsny” Potocki, who sent his hippologist Obodynsky, quite famous in Volhynia, to Instanbul. Prince Sanguszko, the Governor of Volhynia, sent Bursky, whom we wrote about earlier. We can see, just how far Bursky was willing to go in his efforts to get studs for the farm, from his letter to Prince Sanguszko. On July 3, 1803, he writes: “I decided to take a trip to Arabia and up to Aleppo to buy horses. This journey, although long and distant, will not be in vain: everybody around argue that only there it will be possible to get horses”. In those days, such trips were quite difficult and dangerous, this is why it demanded a lot of courage and self-sacrifice on the part of Bursky.

Bursky continues: “I wish to do, as befits a servant, loyal and faithful to his master. I will risk my life to satisfy my master’s wish”. Then he says: “The grooms of Prince Adam Czartoryski and Mr. Obodynsky prefer to risk losing the good disposition of their Lords (masters), rather than endanger themselves.” This letter and similar information about the farm of Princes Sanguszko are important. They prove the efforts of three generations of Sanguszko’s family to acquire horses from Arabia. Also, these notes give an insight into people’s attachment to the Princes Sanguszko. Prince Eustachy Sanguszko, son of the Prince Governor of Volhynia, followed in his father’s footsteps and expanded the farm by constantly buying horses in Arabia.

In 1816, Prince Eustachy, sent Mr. Moshinsky to the desert, provided him with instructions for his trip, where he expressed his love and concern for him. For example, he writes in the instructions: “A man’s life is comprehended by various incidents. Those can find him anywhere, even in his own house, in his own bed. When going on such a long and distant journey, we must think even more about what may happen. However, I can assure you that no one can escape their fate”. Further, he writes: I assign 4,000 ducats and five hundred rubles to buy horses and to cover any other expenses. Mr. Moshinsky has every right to dispose of four thousand chervonets[21], as he finds appropriate. But at the same time, I would like for Mr. Moshinsky to bring three stallions for the farm needs, and one very clever devil[22] up my person and fit to my age”. Further, the Prince writes: “Moshinsky should leave instructions in case of his death, what I am asking God to protect from, or his illness; then it would be good to discuss in what state his caravan should be. Also, if he buys horses in Damascus or in the area, or in Aleppo, he must choose either traveling back by land, or go on board”. Finally, the instruction ends with the following words: “If I thought for a minute that this journey was too dangerous for you, my Moshinsky, and for those who are going with you, then I would not risk you for any horses. However, by sending you, the spouse and father of the family, I assure you that if you were in an accident on this journey, and an unthinkable happened, then I would take care of your family”.

Moshinsky, as a faithful servant, carried out this assignment sincerely and thoroughly, and in 1818 on December the 22nd, almost two years after his departure, he reported on his expenses during the expedition.

From this report, it is quite interesting for the reader to learn about prices for Arabian horses at the time. Moshinsky writes: “I received from the Slavutsky and Ilinetsky office 4,700 ducats (ducats) for the purchase of horses and travel expenses. I exchanged this money (with exchange rate 1 ducat for 14 levs) for 65,800 levs. I spent 31550 levs on horses, and with all the travel expenses to Arabia and back, there were 33534 levs spent during the expedition”.

Beyan[23], called “Bolshoy” (Big), had a price of 3,150 levs in Aleppo, Jedran was bought in the Gama desert for 2,200 levs; the first was bay, the second red. A few years later the latter was given to the Prussian royal farm in Neustadt. Grey Rabdan was bought in Gama for 3,700 levs. White’s Guylyan, the best horse in that party, which is considered to be the founder of the farm of the Princes Sanguszko, was bought in Damascus for 3500 levs. Bay Saklyavi was bought in the desert Svir for 2000 levs. Grey Djelfi was bought in the desert Baban for 1300 levs. Kbeshan, a grey foal, was also bought in Babak desert for 700 levs. Red mare Seglawia was bought in Khan-Shaykhun for 2,000 levs, red Semrani-Seglawi was purchased in Istanbul for 2,800 levs. Grey Nedji was purchased in Istanbul for 10,200 levs.

Prince Eustachy Sangushko was so delighted and inspired with the acquisition of such horses that in his letters he not only mentions with delight about these horses, but also describes what accidents Moshinsky was subjected to during the trip and what incidents occurred when he was buying horses in the desert. He explicitly mentions the stallion Nedji in his letter to his beloved son-in-law, General Mokronovsky, where he writes that Nedji is of extraordinary beauty. This was the horse that was intended for the Prince, and which desired qualities he described so originally in the instructions to Moshinsky. In another letter he describes the same horse: “White, like silver, with eyes, tail, mane black; as for his stature, he is quite tall. On the third day after his arrival, I went to try him in the arena, where he brought me right up to the ceiling, and then back on the ground, which he was biting with his teeth”. In another letter he writes: “Eight months after Moshinsky’s return, on July 14, 1819, I said farewell to Nedji. He collapsed with colic, and deteriorated completely in a few hours”.

In January 1819, Prince Eustachy wrote to Count Václav Rzhevutsky: “I’ll tell you the truth that in our lands nobody ever saw and nobody ever heard about Arabian horses like those that I have”. He repeats in this letter that they are from the very heart of the desert.

Moshinsky performed his duties in that expedition brilliantly. The Englishman Rawson, a famous expert on Arabian horses, who lived in Aleppo and was married to an Arabian woman, helped Moshinsky in his quest. 28 years later, the author of these notes met him personally in Aleppo and was treated with utmost hospitably at his home.

Probably, even in these days it is still possible to find excellent examples of the noble Arabian breed in the desert. But the desert and the nature of the Arabs are too far back in time. In our century, which runs ahead at the speed of steam and electricity, nobody has time to spent looking for a horse in the desert for two years, as Bursky and Moshinsky did before.

The details provided above explain that passion for bringing up of the Arabian horse was an integral part of the family and the name of the Princes Sanguszko, which four generations of this noble clan devoted their efforts and feelings for.

a) Kept at Khrestovka:

Farm’s brood mares[24] 45

Half-blood brood mares[25] 4

Young mares 141

Altogether 190 horses

b) Kept at Satanov:

Pure blood English brood mares[26] 7

Half-blood brood mares 3

Pureblood Anglo-Arabian brood mares[27] 6

[Brood mares] brought from Arabia 2

Pureblood Arabian brood mares produced at the farm[28] 53

(Editor’s Note: In the original Polish the term “Pureblood Arabian” is not used here. These mares are simply described as “Arabian mares of our own breeding”).

Young Arabian mares ready for mating 17

(Editor’s Note: In the original Polish the term “Arabian” is not used here. These mares are simply described as “young mares”).

Young mares of different age 168

Altogether 256 horses

Signed by Roman Sanguszko Sr.

Translated by D.G.

  1. “Rassa” is translated as race throughout this document.
  2. Klembovetsky in the 1st document
  3. This somewhat vague description echoes the one given in the 1860 history of the stud and probably refers to events related to Prince Eustachy supporting Napoleon during 1812 war. This is why his estates went into administration. This, however was revoked after he was pardoned by the Russian emperor.
  4. Mikhail Kamburley was was an advisor, senator, and civil governor of Volhynia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onufriivka).
  5. Often interpreted as “Ukraine”, and meant similar in the styles such as “the Emperor of the Great, the Little and the White Russia”, where “The Little Russia” is Malorossiya. However, has more restrictive meaning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Russia.
  6. “Porodisty” means pedigreed or high breed.
  7. “Chistokrovny” means pure blooded and is translated this way throughout this document.
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ia%C8%99i
  9. Count Ivan Vasilievich Gudovich, general-field marshal, born in Little Russia (Ukraina) in 1741. Participated in several wars with Turks, and the last one happened several years prior to 1813.
  10. “Polka” is a dance popular in Ukraine. It also means woman of Polish descent.
  11. His previous owner’s surname.
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janusz_Aleksander_Sanguszko
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zef_Klemens_Czartoryski
  14. Originated from the city of Warsaw.
  15. https://geographic.org/geographic_names/name.php?uni=-1536036&fid=6535&c=ukraine
  16. Myanovo is a Polish city about halfway between Warsow and Byalistok
  17. Possibly “Svechkovskaya”, in this case related to Svechkovo
  18. “Ogiery oryginalne arabskie i wschodnie” means original arab and eastern stallions.
  19. “Krew i rassa wyższa orientalna” means blood and the higher oriental race.
  20. “Nie było rassy w zbieraninie” means there was no race in the collection.
  21. Russian/Ukrainian monetary unit, which is also called ducat in some parts of this text.
  22. “Chyort” means an ordinary demon rather than the devil.
  23. “Obeyan” in the 1860 Russian history of the stud.
  24. “Matka” means brood mare.
  25. “Matok polukrovnyh” means half-blood brood mares.
  26. “Matok chistokrovnyh Angliiskih” means pureblood English brood mares.
  27. “Matok chistokrovnyh Anglo-arabskih” means pureblood Anglo-Arab brood mares.
  28. “[Matok] chistokrovnyh Arabskih svoego zavoda” means pureblood Arabian [brood mares] of the own farm
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